Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Sleipnir - Q & A

Months come and go and I still couldn't get Sleipnir's second album "Oaths Sworn in Blood & Mead" which is criminally delayed already. What is going on, I decided to ask Paul. Check out also my old interview with this guy and support his excellent band Sleipnir. Debut CD "Bloodbrothers" is killer epic viking metal, a must have, in my opinion! So, when will I listen to "Oaths Sworn in Blood & Mead" finally??
A long time has passed since you've recorded "Oaths Sworn in Blood & Mead", but the album remains unreleased. Tell me what happened that we have to wait for it so long? Gardarika Music is about to release it, but have you looked for some other labels before giving "Oaths Sworn in Blood & Mead" to them? I ask that because I feel like "Bloodbrothers" didn't receive the feedback it deserved and I am a little afraid that the same may happen to "Oaths Sworn in Blood & Mead"...
I'm afraid it comes down to money Marcin. We have been waiting for Gardarika to have the funds to finally release the album. They have finally requested the tracks in a .wav format and these have been sent. We have had confirmation from the label that the tracks have all transferred over ok and they have contacted the processing plant to arrange production of the album (November 13). We offered the album initially to Gardarika when it was completed, to see if they were interested and they were. We were happy with the work they did on “Bloodbrothers’. They carried out a fair bit of promotion work. We got plenty of reviews and a few interviews. I suppose it’s just tough to stand out in such a saturated market. We plan to use some of the copies we receive to help promote ourselves to some bigger labels and see what happens.

Would you mind explaining us the story behind "Oaths Sworn in Blood & Mead"? I mean, is it a conceptual album and if so, what the lyrics are about?
It’s not a concept album in the sense of a story (King Diamond) but as with “Bloodbrothers” there is a common theme running through the album. Some of the tracks continue the sagas of the Viking brothers, from the first album. Its just more of the same essentially, songs about Odin, swords and christian slaying

The artwork for "Oaths Sworn in Blood & Mead" is just bloody excellent, I really, really love it. Who's the author of it? How have you come up with something so eye-catching and brilliant, but simple?
The artwork was produced by Alex from the mayhem project (, ). Gardarika have used him for their last few releases. It is an excellent design and stands out from a lot of the other designs he has done. We are very happy with it.

You've played all the instruments on the album. Was this performance difficult for you? I mean you were responsible for quite large part of the album alone! And how does the composing process look like in band such as Sleipnir? How big is Tossell's work in this process?
It’s a fairly long drawn out process really Marcin. I usually tend to have a chorus melody in written first and then everything tends to go from there. With this album I recorded all the guitar tracks, choirs and vocals to a basic drum track and produced these as demo tracks. I then carried out some editing work, final drum programming and then recorded the   orchestration and FX. Finally when I feel happy with the track I carry out some final mixing. Its not too difficult, it just takes a long time to carry out, especially when I have to work and look after my two young daughters as well. Tossell only helps out on the lyrics as far as the creative side of the band goes.

Also I guess that to compose such long songs must not be easy, especially if you want to keep it as interesting as possible. What are then the biggest challenges for you, when composing such "Farewell to a Fallen Brother", which is 16 minutes long? Sleipnir is just a duo, so there are no problems with live performances, but even if it was a full band then I suppose this is just not a music for live presentation, don't you think? Especially with such complex vocal lines...
I write songs for myself and I've always had a passion for longer epic songs. I try and keep the songs interesting, I always try to have a fairly memorable chorus or two, but at the end of the day it comes down to people tastes. What one person loves the next will think is fucking shit. In that respect I only ever try to please myself when composing. Playing live is just not an option I'm afraid. To try and recreate the music live would surely be doomed to fail and disappoint. I've seen too many bands do similar things

Do you think that such album as "Oaths Sworn in Blood & Mead" demands some special conditions, in which it should be listened to? Taking only the wintery look of the layout for this album, one would probably never dare to play this CD in hot summer day hehe!
The only true way to listen to this album is loud and whilst quaffing a gallon of your favourite well hopped ale!!!

OK, Paul, what are your expectations with "Oaths Sworn in Blood & Mead"? I mean you've worked hard to get this album done, I hope it won't disappear in the flood of metal records... What aims do you put for this record and for the label, who I hope will do a better work this time!?
Hopefully this album will get us some more attention. We hope to build on what “Bloodbrothers” achieved. Some bigger label interest would be nice. Sound wise it’s a step up from “Bloodbrothers” and more varied in the music. It's more epic and the soundtrack feel has been greatly enhanced. I've started writing music for the next album and I'm also intending to remix and master “Bloodbrothers” with full orchestration. This we may release ourselves and then there will two versions of that album available. Thanks once again for your support and interest Marcin. It is people like yourself that makes this worth doing.

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